The Myanmar government stated on Wednesday, April 10, that Arakan Army fighters attacked and overran a police station in Mrauk U (Rakhine state). According to the government, around 200 militants briefly seized the police base, killing two police officers and a civilian and abducting seven civilians. The Arakan Army denied that there were any civilian casualties during the attack. Retaliatory operations from government forces are likely in the coming weeks and months, along with further Arakan Army assaults on military and government facilities. Clashes may result in civilian displacement and casualties.
The UN reported that up to 30 civilians were killed on an April 5 military operation near Buthidaung township (Rakhine state). Clashes between the Arakan Army and security forces have also left 22 police officers since January 2019.
Violence resumed in early December 2018 between Rakhine separatists and the military. The Arakan Army seeks greater autonomy for Buddhists in Rakhine state. According to the Myanmar office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 7500 displaced people are scattered across 29 sites in Rakhine due to the violence and 730,000 people in neighboring Bangladesh.
Individuals in Rakhine state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant and military activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Travelers are advised to avoid all but essential travel to Rakhine state, except the southern townships of Kyaukpyu, Ramree, Munaung, Toungup, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali), and Gwa.
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